Category Archives: Writing and Prose

Being single

Essentially, I think that’s all we ever are: single. Maybe not in the exact way that the word connotes. I don’t want to repeat cliches like, “we are born alone and we die alone”, but that doesn’t make any of them less true. We are all fundamentally alone. We touch lives and we share lives, but that doesn’t make us not alone. It just makes us not lonely.

There’s an indispensable difference between loneliness, and being alone. While loneliness describes being destitute of companions, being alone just means being apart from others which we all are. Mentally, emotionally, physically. Everything and anything which we don’t say out loud, whether it be with words, with writing, or with the emotions that do surface, is our own and it is isolated from everyone and anyone we share the world with.

Relationships allow you to experience this world with someone you care for. But this feeling of companionship is slightly more illusory. Other people can only vicariously comprehend your life through their own eyes. You are never not alone.

So, being single should come like second nature to us, right? Being single should be nothing but mastering the art of being alone, which we all fundamentally are. Doing things for yourself, and striving to be a better version of yourself everyday, that’s what being single should be about. Until you get lonely.

Most often being alone morphs into loneliness. When you start getting tired of discovering and re-discovering both the world, and yourself, and begin feeling unsatisfied with your inability to share your progress with somebody, things get gloomy. You want someone to take interest in your passions, someone to flourish with. Someone you can grow to love, because it gets lonely at the top. Cliche, I know, but maybe cliches are worth more than immediate dismissal. They exemplify common thoughts. And in this particular case, perhaps they offer a reason for us to feel less lonely in our conviction to master being single in adulthood.

Perhaps then, the underlying difficulty in getting over a break up, or forgetting about someone, is to do with all the sharing rather than all the loving. Maybe what we struggle with is not the absence of the hand of a loved one, but the absence of a hand that we grew used to holding, and the absence of a soul to listen and adore the things you adore. It’s not evident at first. You fail to see it through all the brooding. But when all the heartbreak is over, we start longing for that overwhelming warmth in our hearts. We seek a new partner to experience new things with, to share with.  How did that old saying go again? Sharing is caring? Told you cliches are worth more than immediate dismissal. 

The next time you find yourself struggling to move on after a break up, or you feel overcome with the desire for a significant other, remind yourself that we are all alone, and if you start to feel empty, it’s not because you’re alone, it’s because you’re lonely. And hey, guess what? There are so many lonely people. Ergo there are so many people who can’t wait to share their lives with others, to interact, to communicate, and possibly do all of this with you… All you really have to do is listen.

 

 

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Places to find hope:

in the books you read,

in the music you hear,

in the everyday tune of life,

in the people you meet,

in the strangers you catch smiling on the streets,

in the eyes of a baby that won’t stop staring at you in awe,

in window reflections,

in the sea,

in the sky,

in the stars,

in the daisy strewn gardens,

in knee-high fields full of dandelions,

in the ladybird that may have just landed on your hand,

in yourself,

 

 

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Not so happy, and not so new

I woke up this morning to the terrible news that there had been an attack in Istanbul in a night club. In fact not just a nightclub; one of the most popular and renowned nightclubs of Istanbul, a nightclub that is about a 10 minute walk from where I live, a nightclub that is at the heart of Istanbul.

It saddens me that I am not so surprised by this grotesque massacre. At 00:00 last night I hoped with all my heart that nothing ‘bad’ would happen. Sadly though, what is the new year but just another day? And what better day to attack than on a day that we are overcome by restored hopes and dreams: the early hours of the 1st of January. One man with a gun reminds you of the prevailing presence of fear and hopelessness humanity has become well acquainted with.

Speculate all you want. Do your politics. Shut down Islam. Whatever. It doesn’t change the reality.

People are dying. And some guy with a gun just shot down your hopes too. 

 

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01.01.2017

The first of January. It’s usually a day spent curing hangovers, maybe doing a little bit of reminiscing, and maaaybe a day to get going with some of those new year’s resolutions. It’s also a day when a lot of media outlets publish a ‘best-of’ for the year that has gone by.
So, I scrolled through my Facebook page and it’s mainly covered in blood with a tad of happiness here and there. Attack, after attack, after attack, after bomb, after bomb, after bomb, after death, after death, after hashtag, after hashtag, after hashtag.
We are the world and the world is bleeding.
We are a planet. We are Earth. And the way I was taught, here on Earth, every life counts for one . Nobody’s life is more important than that of another. Everyone is different and everyone is important. Everyone is a heart. And together we are supposed to be one big fat beating heart. We are supposed to have a mutual understanding that we are all different and that that’s okay. Do you know why? Because we all share this planet, and it is just as much mine as it is yours, and it if just as much mine as it is a panda’s; and because much to NASA’s dismay, there aren’t any other planets that we can live on (yet) so we might as well just quit striving for hegemony, pointing fingers, and nit-picking.
(Because like it or not we’ve all got to fucking share.)
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Death was sly, sad, and lonely and I was trying to add colour with my crayolas.

The first time I met death, I must have been around five. My neighbours daughter got us acquainted. She had passed in her sleep.

I couldn’t really grasp the idea of someone being dead. All I really understood was that she was gone, but I resolutely believed that she was gone some place else; not gone absolutely.

I remember my mum telling me the news. I took my crayolas and drew pictures of a blonde girl on paper torn from an old 1998 agenda. The blonde girl was their daughter, though I had no clue whether she was truly blonde because I had never actually seen her. I was trying desperately to say goodbye to a person I’d never met. I presented my ‘art’ to my mum who told me to give it to my dad who would be attending the funeral later on. So I did. I don’t know what happened to the drawings or what I expected to happen to the drawings but I imagined she would receive them one way or another…

Death was sly, sad, and lonely and I was trying to add colour with my crayolas.

I’m 20 years old now. It’s been some 15 years since then, yet here I am trying to deal with another passing. I don’t have crayolas anymore. I have a black biro and I’m scribbling on blank sheets of paper trying to make sense out of what we call ‘life’.

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Don’t let the damage control your life.
You do the damage control, and you control your life.

And,

“Even if things don’t unfold the way you expected, don’t be disheartened or give up. One who continues to advance will win in the end.”
Daisaku Ikeda

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To you
A distant memory is all I’ll ever be
Now that I’m gone from you
And you from me.

Gone from you,
Gone for me.

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Assess, address, adjust

For the first time in my life, I’m starting to face my problems. I’m admitting them out loud… and proud. Addressing the issue, that’s the beginning of everything, right? It’s difficult. It’s also not exactly relieving at first. On the contrary, initially, you’re like ‘shit, is my mind really this screwed up?’ or like ‘why the fuck do I do the things I do?’ but then you realize it’s not necessarily because something is actually wrong with you. And even if it is, at least you’re realizing it soon enough to do something about it. I swear confronting my issues sometimes makes me want to tear my hair out; it makes me hate the person that I was. But only for a minute. Or maybe for an hour, maybe even two! It passes; eventually. You feel better.

So what? Sometimes we go through things that make us act a certain way later on in life. Or sometimes the way we were brought up has a negative effect on us. But there’s no point in blaming yourself for all the messed up wiring in your brain. There’s not even really any point in blaming your parents or your parent or whatever. It’s not like they were given a tutorial of how to raise you either. Just quit pointing fingers, ‘cause it ain’t gonna solve the problem. I get that it feels better to say “it’s all your fault” but ultimately you can’t go back and change the way they did things. What you can do, is move forward. Assess the damage, address the issues, and look into solving them. Find your inner peace. You don’t need anybody else to account for the damage done to be able to fix it.

Assess, address, adjust and move on.

 

 

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When did the future switch from being a promise to a threat?
– Chuck Palahniuk

I’d like to acknowledge that at a certain stage in everybody’s life, no matter the socioeconomic or sociopolitical crises the world might be undergoing, the future seems like a threat. When you’re threatened by your middle school teacher that you will fail if you do not hand in your assignment. When you’re graduating from high school and you feel lost. When you’re under the constant pressure of getting a good GPA because otherwise you will probably end up being unemployed and homeless. When you’re graduating from university and the world just seems like it will eat you up. But lately, the future seems like an epidemic that we are all running scared from.

With everything that’s going on in the world, with all the war and the hate and the terror and all things unkind and ugly, everything poses some kind of a threat. We’ve come to live in a world where childbearing mothers question if they are making a mistake by bringing life into this chaos, into this pandemonium we call our world.

Politics seem to have taken a backseat in the news as increasingly horrible things keep happening all over the world. The headlines of newspapers always appear to be bloodstained. Sometimes with that of those brave enough to flee the terror they are facing and sometimes with that of those barbarous enough to massacre their own kind. While some are fighting for peace, some are bloodthirsty, fighting for war. There are an increasing number of places where people cannot step out onto the streets safely. There are an increasing number of places headlining the news. Some go unheard of, and some go viral.

Everyday as we face these terrors, I witness more and more people using phrases beginning with Allah korusun” (meaning may God protect you; can be used after talking about something terrible (like a terrorist attack), with the meaning God, please don’t let this awful thing happen). But so long as we don’t acknowledge that we are not the only victims, so long as we don’t recognize each other as innocent and subject to the same terrors, so long as we consider one’s suffering to be greater than others, so long as we don’t unite we will continue to experience this and we will continue to pray that it’s not our life that will be on the line next time around.

For the future to be a promise and not a threat… 

Almost too relevant.

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Take me away from this Dark Place. Take me to Peace.

What sort of a world have we come to where we have to think twice about where we want to go out to for lunch and what means of transport we have to take and what the risks of dying due to a suicide bomb are on that trajectory? What sort of  a world have we come to where we find ourselves thinking of death, not as something that comes mostly with old age or poor health, but as something which can take masses of innocent lives any where, any day, any hour, any minute or even any second? What sort of a world have we come to where our lives are at risk even as we are going to buy a loaf of bread, or as we are taking a stroll in the park, or as we are waiting at a bus stop to go to work, to go home or to see a friend or a loved one? What kind of a dark place have we come to? Does this place have a name? Does it have a soul? Does it have any mercy?

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